Back when I was in college, I found many different potential ways to approach my studies. I could study extra hard, overload my class schedule, put a lot of time in, and move forward at a rapid pace. I could take the the bare minimum required number of units, study infrequently, and take a bit longer to finish my degree. I could balance my class schedule to keep me challenged but also, keep me from going insane. Or I could take a bunch of courses friends had already taken, borrow their old exams, and ride my way through college on their coattails. Each approach would eventually get me to where I wanted to be, but each would offer me varying experiences to come away with, not to mention that each would speak greatly about the kind of person that I truly am. Now that I've graduated and have worked for a while, I'm glad I chose the route I did - one of balance.
WoW is pretty much the same kind of environment. You have people playing their hearts out, trying to excel through their own efforts. You have other people that are more casual, taking things as they are and trying to enjoy it without worry of their rate of progression. And then you have people that don't care for the path and just want the prize, not really caring about how they get it, as long as they can equip it sooner rather than later.
As one's approach said much about them in the college environment, so too does it say much about them here. I'll leave you to figure out what kinds of character traits would lead individuals to choose one approach over another. Just be sure to keep them in mind when you're walking your own path. Keep it balanced. Your reputation will thank you later. ;)